Faculty Workshops at the Spring 2018 Residency

Francis X. Charet, faculty

The AI Revolution: Will Machines Think and Dream? with Faculty Member, Francis X. Charet. The emergence of Artificial Intelligence and its technological applications raises some fundamental, intriguing and troubling questions. We are now entering a stage of modern technology that moves beyond machines that can correlate massive amounts of information, do complex tasks faster and with more precision that surpasses human capacity. Machines are being programed to replicate human neural networks that allow them to correlate information, analyze data, and make judgments on a scale and in a way that seemingly demonstrates independent capabilities. Artificial intelligence is transforming modern medicine, manufacturing, and even education. Will it be put to destructive ends as Stephen Hawkings, Bill Gates and Elon Musk have warned. Will machines eventually attain consciousness as we know it? Will machines think? Will they dream?

Sarah Bobrow-Williams

Creating and Keeping the Beloved Community in Our Activism, Work and Lives, with Faculty Members, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and Sarah Bobrow-Williams. “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said. What does it take to make and sustain such a community where we work, live and strive for justice? Caryn and Sarah – from their varied experiences in organizations, arts-based initiatives, campaigns, workplaces, and institutions – will explore the values and practices of cultivating of facilitating and upholding beloved communities. We’ll then discuss andtrouble-shoot various scenarios to consider ways to navigate through conflict and clashes for the good for the community, and we’ll end the workshop with a writing prompt to consider ways to infuse the philosophy of keeping the belovedness in community through specific practices. This workshop is especially pertinent for all SIS and MA-TLA students as well as for anyone working with others for change.

Embodied Metaphors: Rupture and Repair in the Individual / Social Body, with Faculty Member Sarah Van Hoy. In this workshop we will look at the poetics of rupture and repair and how these metaphors occur in the language and practices of medicine and culture. We will examine the role of metaphor in medicine (and cognition generally) and the social shaping of embodied experience. Bring your ideas for rich conversation.

Feeling What’s Happening: Calming the Nervous System, Faculty Member, Lori Wynters. At times we can be stressed, in a state of “fight, flight, freeze,” with an overactive nervous system, raising our cortisol levels, which can impact sleep cycles, muscular, cardiovascular, immune and digestive systems and our every day thinking. We’ll explore the physiology of stress and experiential somatic practices from Somatic Experiencing, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, yoga, dance and breathing practices that can soothe the nervous system and stimulate the “relaxation response”, supporting the body’s re- centering and mending disconnection.

What Does It Mean, to Heal? with Faculty Member, Lise Weil. We are living a moment in which brokenness, division and disease are being exposed as never before, when healing is necessary—and possibly available—as never before. If cancer tells us it is senseless to consider human disease apart from the diseased earth, ecological devastation is the symptom of a diseased culture. Three powerful recent books—Eva Saulitis’ memoir Becoming Earth, Deena Metzger’s novel A Rain of Night Birds and Lidia Yuknavitch’s novel The Book of Joan—come to the question of disease and healing from a deep understanding that human and earth body are indissoluble. “What does it mean, to heal?”

Katt Lissard and Karen Campbell

Phony Scholarship: How to Prevent your Research from Spiraling off into your own private Disney World, with Faculty Members, Karen Campbell & Katt Lissard. Most of us approach our academic work searching for sources that confirm what we already believe and thus risk allowing our research to become distorted or less-than-challenging – or just plain dull. This workshop focuses on critical thinking, writing, ethics and research, or how to ensure your research findings come closest to representing the truth that is currently available and allow you to get deeply involved in discovering what you might not already know! We’ll tackle short readings from different perspectives on various topics, practice identifying key points, comparing, contrasting, and reporting. Topics include epigenetics, embodiment, consciousness and research methodologies (other topics if you request them in good time). Imagine a team of crack reporters trying to break a story. Or Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys teaming up to solve the mystery. Bring your magnifying glass, compass and a handy piece of twine!

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Graduating Student Presentations at the Spring 2018 Residency

A Joyful Noise: Reclaiming my Christian Voice, with IMA-TLA graduating student, Tracy Murphy. Please join me as I present the work featured in my thesis, “A Joyful Noise: Reclaiming my Christian Voice.” In this presentation, I will walk through some of the content from my context paper including influential voices and commentary on Christian feminism and progressive theology, as well as my individual practices in Transformative Language Arts, with an emphasis on the sacred power of music making. I will also be sharing many pieces of the main section of my thesis, my creative work, “Letters to God.” In an attempt to reclaim the Christian label, I have written this work to expand the narrative of who a Christian is by blending my love for and journey with music, faith, and community. I extend a special invitation and welcome to those who feel skeptical or critical of Christians, because, well, I am too! This presentation is an open and fully welcoming space for people of all or no religious affiliations.

Beyond the Veil: Horror, Boundaries, and the Descent into the Underworld, with IMA graduating student, Sarah Coflan. “The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” -E.A. PoeThe horror genre has often been dismissed as cheap and exploitative -sometimes dismissed as such by the creators themselves. As a lifelong, self proclaimed ‘horror geek’, however, I have found the horror genre to be a wellspring of valuable insight, both personally and culturally. In my presentation, I will draw comparisons between the act of engaging with a work of macabre art, and with the storytelling tradition of a hero’s descent into the Underworld. We will visit various incarnations of the Underworld, and see where it has left its mark on our culture. We will look at the Horror genre, both historical and contemporary, and examine specific films in greater depth.

Bringing Inner Experience to the Fore: First Person Consciousness and the Value of Subjectivity, with IMA-CS graduating student, Emily Wrede. Consciousness is that from which everything else springs forth for us as humans. It is that which animates us, enables us to have thoughts, and allows us to have a sense of self. This presentation will explore the process through which I discovered the value of and importance of incorporating what occurs in our inner worlds into approaches to understanding consciousness and the human condition. Drawing mainly from personal experience and briefly from the work of certain contributors to the fields of psychology, philosophy, neuroscience and contemplative traditions, I will explore how incorporating inner experience into an understanding of consciousness draws attention to the need for a paradigm shift, one which is arguably already underway.

“Comfort Quest”- Nursing Pain through a Transformative Lens… Our Heroine’s Journey, with HAS graduating student, Lisa Evers, RN. Attempting to numb our pain is yielding tragic results in society today- Pain continues, Addiction rages, and People are dying! My hypothesis is that the current pain scale is fueling the opioid crisis. Pain is viewed as the enemy, with the single goal of silencing it, at any cost. By flipping the pain scale, I am offering a new Vision- “Comfort Quest” where valuable energy is focused on real solutions- uncovering root causes, understanding pain’s messages, and empowering the body to heal. This study draws on physical, mental, and social well-being are cultivated. Neuroscience, quantum physics, energy medicine and positive psychology as well as intuition and offer feminine wisdom

Engaging Youth: Connecting to Identity, Place, Community, and Nature for a Sustainable Future, with SIS graduating student, Kate Aubin. Systemic racial and social injustice, planet altering climate change, and widening income inequality are so-called “wicked problems” that disproportionately affect youth and especially youth of color. Most discussions of solutions to these issues do not consider the potential for youth leadership. In this presentation I explore why it is vital for youth to assume leadership roles and examine ways to cultivate civic engagement and agency among youth. I will explain how civic engagement can be sparked in youth through positive youth development. I will talk about a workshop I designed and taught to a group of high school aged youth that asked participants to reflect on their relationships with nature, their connections to community, their understanding of personal identity, and their sense of place. I will also speak about my own civic engagement journey and how that grounded my research and informed the development of the workshop.

Occupy Age Movement, with HAS graduating student, Tammy L. Marshall. Ageism is alive and well in America and throughout the world. The notion of ageism impacts every industry. This presentation will uncover how our youth addicted society has impacted healthcare, the field of Long Term Care and the concern for those living with Dementia. There will also be a connection made as to how the loss of the divine feminine in healthcare plays a significant role in keeping Ageism alive. This presentation offers research as well as a personal quest to speak truths.

Our Viral Lives: Telling HIV/AIDS Stories That Matter, with SIS graduating student, Kyle Bella. At the end of 2014, I launched the online archive Our Viral Lives, which sought to tell digital stories about the HIV/AIDS targeted to an under 35 LGBTQ population most affected by the crisis. In the process of creating this archive, I confronted ethical questions about representation of different marginalized communities, informed consent, and information system storage. But the project took on a new dimension as it entered written form. It also became a primer for making the emotional legacies of artists, activists and political visionaries from the 1980s and 1990s alive in the 21st century. This latter exploration pointedly asked the question, “How do we do HIV/AIDS stories that have impact in our present day communities?”

Shomriel Sherman with fellow study Tracy Murphy

Seeing in the Dark: Illness as Illumination, with IMA-TLA graduating student, Shomriel Sherman. My thesis approaches pain and illness as a quest, a chance to honor and learn from the darkness, rather than attempt to hide, ‘cure,’ or bury what is found there. This presentation will provide a space for discussion around embodied experiences of illness, dialogue with pain and dis- ease, and the points of intersection between individual struggles and the larger world. I will share excerpts from my thesis as well as talk about aspects of my creative process. I will also bring along some visual aids, poems and objects that have proven helpful to me along the way.

Posted in Activism, Aging Studies, Collaborative Arts, Community Building, Creative Non-Fiction, Creativity & Imagination, Goddard Graduate Institute, Health Arts and Sciences, leadership, Life Sciences, Nursing, Spiritual Memoir, Spirituality & Religion, Sustainability & Place Studies, Tammy Marshall, Tracy Murphy, Youth Development | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Social Justice Tours with Alumni Dan Kaminsky

New York City attracts a lot of tourists interested in history, culture, and big city adventure, but too often such tours hide some of the more vital history of the social justice issues inherent to every landmark. Dan Kaminsky, a graduate of the Social Innovation and Sustainability Program, is addressing that in an original way.

He explains, “Social Justice tours (http://socialjusticetours.com/) uses walking tours as a medium to create dialogue about social justice issues in NYC. This season (which ended in Nov) we had four tours (Trump tour, gentrification tour, environmental justice tour and people’s history tour). Next season we are hoping to add three more (surveillance tour, vegan food tour and queer resistance tour).” He invites people to both visit the website and share their emails to get updated when the tours start up again in May, and visit the organizations Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NowThisPolitics/videos/1816750268356455/

You can also see a video of what people are finding on his Trump tour here. Dan also recently spoke on a podcast with Mike Higgins, his collaborator in this organization, from FUREE:

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Goddard’s New PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies

After many years of dreaming up, planning for, and exploring all the possibilities for a PhD program in Goddard, the College has now approved the first PhD program — a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Goddard Graduate Institute. The College’s Board of Trustees approved of the proposal in September of 2017, and since then, staff and faculty have been putting together a proposal for accreditation from NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges). We hope to be able to begin accepting applications in the spring for the Fall 2018 semester.

Overview: The Goddard Graduate Institute’s (GGI) PhD program serves as a platform for change agents, researchers, and practitioners, to conduct advanced study and original research toward innovative solutions for social and ecological challenges of our time. Building on GGI’s Master of Arts programs (Social Innovation and Sustainability, Health Arts and Sciences, and Individualized Studies), the PhD program educates students to work as scholar-practitioners, global citizens, and local change agents. Graduates of the GGI PhD program will be prepared to teach at a college level, as well as lead, mentor, facilitate, and organize within their communities, bringing in-depth knowledge into effective practice to make social institutions more just, build community capacity, strengthen democracy in action, and enhance individual community, and ecological health.

The 60-credit low-residency PhD program includes 48 hours of coursework (from online classes) and packet work, and 12 hours of dissertation-writing. We also hope to be able to offer a combined MA-PhD program that enables students to earn both an MA and PhD degree. The PhD program, as part of the Goddard Graduate Institute, will meet as part of the GGI residency schedules, hopefully starting in August of 2018 with an 8-day residency and leading into a 17-week semester. Like all Goddard programs, students will design their own curricula with faculty and peer input and according to degree criteria to ensure relevant and meaningful studies that advance students’ passions, interests, communities, and livelihoods.

Special thanks to our PhD committee, which includes alumni Kris Hege, Claudia Guerra, Mike Alvarez, Robin Stone, Cynthia Obrero, Hillary S. Webb; faculty Sarah Van Hoy; GGI director Ruth Farmer, and to the Dean of Academic Affairs’ office.

Listen to Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, GGI faculty member, and chair of the PhD committee on “Ethereal,” the Goddard WGDR radio show hosted by Karla Moskowitz and Tonio Epstein. You can hear that here.

If you would like to receive more detailed information, please email Caryn at Caryn.MirriamGoldberg@goddard.edu.

Posted in Interdisciplinary Studies, PhD | Leave a comment

Desiree Wyble: “Misfit Doc: Am I the Red Flag?”

Desiree Wyble finished her MA in Transformative Language Arts study at Goddard, focusing on introversion, self-perspective coaching (based on using video to better see who we are), and speculative fiction. Desiree offers “Life coaching for empaths, introverts, and other sensitive types,” as she explains on her website, building on her study at Goddard.

She recently was published in Queen Mob’s Tea House the first of three pieces on how she found more about who she is as a lesbian. She also pairs the non-fiction piece with Lady Gaga’s “Perfect Illusion.” She starts with,

In November 2016, a converging of events, not important to this story, helped me realize that I am lesbian and not bisexual. I had crushes on both as young as I could remember but women never approached me for dating. I thought that wasn’t a viable choice for me. When I decided I was going to pursue that world myself I felt stronger in my body, sure I was on the path to the happiness that alluded me. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Read more here and part 2 is here.

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Kelly Johnson Launches Environmental Arts School

Kelly Johnson, an Individualized MA graduate (with a concentration in Environmental Studies), used her studies at Goddard to develop a curriculum and write a book, Wings, Worms and Wonder:A Guide for Creatively Integrating Gardening and Outdoor Learning Into Children’s Lives!, drawing on over a dozen years as a nature educator devoted to reconnecting humans and nature. Her in-depth study into progressive education and historic nature-study educators was also informed by a lifetime of her own nature immersion.

Her MA study didn’t just result in a book (now in its second edition) and curriculum, but laid the groundwork for her to establish an online nature journaling school, which she describes as “where people can learn to connect with nature through art a their own pace and in their own backyards.” She offers online classes, such as “From Seed to Fruit: 4 Seasonal Nature Journaling Projects,” “Shapes, Senses and Sunflowers,” and “Connecting with Color: Color Theory for Nature Journaling.” Additionally, she provides Skillshare Classes in topics such as how to paint or draw herbs, clouds, and flowers, and she provides YouTube tutorials in painting and drawing for nature journals.

Additionally Kelly has gone on to publish two more books: the 12 Month Art and Nature Journal,” which she describes as “a 12 month guided workbook journey through creative nature connection using coloring, sketching, creative mark making, sensory observation connection, and journaling” and Pressed: An Herbarium Inspired Art Journal, a flower pressing nature journal workbook. She even sells fabric that matches her nature journal designs as well as illustrated nature journal prompt cards.

As if this isn’t enough, Kelly teaches webinars and conference workshops widely for the American Montessori Association and Montessori Foundation, and has two non-fiction children’s books in production to be released next year, and all this while maintaining a weekly blog.

Learn more about Kelly’s work at her site.


Posted in Ecopsychology, Education, Environmental, Sustainability & Place Studies, Progressive Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Louella Morgan-Richer on Unlocking Trauma, Strengthening Resilience and Redefining Self Through Embodied Practices

Louella Morgan-Richer recently graduated as a Health Arts and Sciences student in the Transformative Language Arts concentration. In reflecting on her journey, she discusses how the Goddard Graduate Institute experience changed her art and life. Her art work, evident in these photos, has been shown around her community, and all of this art work was integral to her thesis also. Here is a brief interview with her.

What brought you to Goddard in the first place?

I came to Goddard in the Health Arts and Sciences program after graduating from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. My intention was to continue working with those diagnosed with cancer and their families and to expand my knowledge beyond nutrition to incorporate a whole body wellness.

How did your study shift over time to what it became?

My studies shifted almost immediately. After reading many memoirs my first semester, I began to write pieces of my own story. Quickly I began to realize that the more memoir pieces I wrote, the better I began to feel. After six years of grieving the loss of my parents, I began to move through it and analyze it and began to find a place of healing. By my second semester I added the Transformative Language Arts concentration to my degree and began to research how expressive writing can raise the resilience in caregivers. Through my next two semesters I began to study scars and trauma and their impacts on our bodies and I added other embodied practices which led to my first art show and reception, a published piece of art in an online publication, and I became a Certified Yoga Teacher.

Tell us about the essence of your study.

This work is both a memoir and a record of studying and then utilizing various embodied practices to unleash stories – and grief from my body. It wasn’t until recently I realized the lives we live, the experiences we have, the scars that are left all continue to make an impact on both our mind and body long after the experience occurs. This work reads as the journey unfolded with short snippets of inspiration, inquiry and investigation that generated many bodies of work. Through diving into painful experiences utilizing different embodied practices I argue that we can relinquish such stories that cause dis-ease within our bodies.

What difference, so far, as doing, being, and knowing this work made in your life?

This work has changed my life. It has given me the space to reflect and heal from my own life challenges and I have gained resources/embodied practices that help me explore the texture of my own suffering. Through my practices I have learned how to emerge through my own experience, not in spite of it. I am currently showing my artwork in both a local business and at the Burlington Art Hop and I am facilitating my second eight week workshop series at Hospice Volunteer Services. I also recently started the conversation with a few acquaintances to do a co-facilitated retreat that will focus on writing our stories and trauma focused yoga.

Posted in Arts-Based Inquiry, Creative Non-Fiction, Creative Writing, Creativity & Imagination, Embodiment Studies, Health Arts and Sciences, Transformative Language Arts | Tagged | Leave a comment